The birth of new planets

Astronomers have observed up to three newborn planets evolving from a disk of gas and dust particles circling a distant Sun-like star. Well, that’s what they say, but are they correct? Astronomers do a lot of fantasizing, so also this time we probably shouldn’t take their words too seriously.

“While 1,900 planets have been discovered outside our solar system, these are the first to be seen that are still forming.” That’s a huge assumption. How do they know what they have seen? The only thing they can accurately describe is the phenomenon they see, but interpreting that is per definition a matter of assumptions. So also in this case the only thing they can state as a fact is that they have seen balls with their microscope that they hadn’t seen before and that look like they are growing. Do they grow? That’s impossible to say, for you cannot know what happens so far away.6951620-3x2-700x467

“The discovery, reported in the journal Nature, has provided scientists with direct evidence of how gas and dust particles coalesce to create planets.” Wait a moment. This goes way too fast. Direct evidence? How do you even know that what you saw are gas and dust particles? Did you go there to take a sample? And how do you know for sure that what you see is a planet? It might be something completely different. After all you look at something very far away and there might be a gazillion things that you cannot see.

“distant star called Lick-Calcium 15 (LkCa 15), which is located about 450 light-years away”. 450 light-years away. Do they really think they know what happens that far away? And how do they know that it is 450 light-years away? How do they actually know that what they see as light is actually light? Maybe light so far away is something different. So maybe what the astronomers observe is not remotely what they think it is.

“The young star is only two million years old” Now our astronomers go from assumptions to complete fantasies. It’s not even possible to accurately determine the age of old things here on earth, let alone that you say anything whatsoever about the age of a star at 450 light-years distance.

“Over a period of five years the astronomers focused on a large gap in the circumstellar disk” Five years? They get paid for five years to observe something they assume is at 450 light-years away and that has absolutely no influence on our earth whatsoever. Couldn’t that money for be used to save our earth?

Document“LkCa 15 b orbits its star at a distance of about 2.4 billion kilometres.” Did they measure this? Nope, of course not. 2.4 billion kilometers is already a distance that none of use can imagine and then this is supposed to be measured accurately at a 450 light-years distance. What do these people think they are doing? Do they really take themselves seriously?

“This provides us with a nice story;” It sure is a nice story. And never let facts and common sense get in the way of such a nice story. “We’re trying to see very faint planets buried in the glare of the star.”  That sounds very poetic, but it has absolutely nothing to do with science. Astronomy is not science and never can be science, simply because we cannot know anything with any level of certainty about what happens so far away. The stars are there for us to enjoy, to give us dreams and to write beautiful poems about. But don’t pretend there is anything more to it than just that.


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